— After the war started, pressure started to build up on us. The last video on our YouTube channel was the one
where we spoke out against the war: volunteers and project participants decided that we needed to say something about it. And all those who were in the video have been charged with discrediting the army. They were Yulia Leshova, Mikhail Benyash, Alexei Mandrigeli, Matvei Kurdyukov and myself. At one point, the house of one of the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus activists, my deputy Matvei Kurdyukov, was searched. He allegedly called the Civic Chamber and reported a bombing, although there was no evidence of this.
On March 5, our website
was blocked and this is another example of the pressure on Protocol. First, we were blocked by the hosting company, it simply deleted the website. When we migrated to a different web host, it turned out that we had been blocked by Roskomnadzor. At the same time, it is difficult to find our website in the register, we only found it in Roskomsvoboda’s [an NGO that supports protection of digital rights] monitoring list of blocked websites. Generally, we anticipated the blocking, but I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.
After the website was blocked, we did not change our work much. We created a mirror of the website and came up with mechanisms for working under the new conditions. I believe that the blocking will not affect the survival of the media.